The State of ATI Linux

July 26th, 2006 by Crusader

Redblog, the ATI-oriented blog maintained by the Linux hardware review site Phoronix, has posted a summary article examining the current state of the graphics chipset manufacturer’s Linux support:

To sum up everything, ATI Linux is shaping up quite nicely except when it comes to their current level of performance. Will ATI remain in my system? Yes, ATI Radeon products have worked their way into both my desktop and notebook. These components will likely stay in there for some time unless the tides decide to turn. I am confident that in the coming months and the year ahead that ATI will be able to shine in the GNU/Linux spotlight, and that their drivers will continue to improve even more.

8 Responses to “The State of ATI Linux”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Sometimes I wonder if the Phoronix guys are paid by ATI to do reviews on their stuff, and apologize for it’s lack of performance. They seem to always give a favorable review, despite the fact that the driver is SH*T. Either they are shameless fanbois or they are getting paid something to do these reviews.

    My review would be:

    Week 1: Incomplete and Low Performance driver. Sucks. Look elswhere until they get their crap together.

    Week 56: Incomplete and Low Performance driver. Sucks. One new feature implamented. Look elswhere until they get their crap together.

    I’m not a fan of either Nvidia or ATI, since neither can be bothered to make a driver on-par with their Windows counterparts, but c’mon guys. When the NV guys decided to make a linux driver, it took like 8 months to get the Nvidia driver ‘feature complete’, and stabillity has never been an issue for me since about XFree 4.0.1.

    Its rediculous to fawn over every little improvement ATI makes to stability or features… Know what? Those things shouldn’t even have to be discussed. They should just work. Crossfire should be in there, and it should work. Things shouldn’t crash. They should just work. XV support should just work. The whole enchallada should just frigging work!

    I’m certainly not pleased with the driver situation in Linux, but I’m certainly not going to buy one of those red cards until there is some quantifiable reason to have one. I can see why people have some interest, since laptop users make foolish decisions and buy the cheap shady exclusive deal-with-ati-special Dell laptop instead of the linux supported one but this article is hardly news. If you want to do an article on ATI, do it on mobile only, because those are the only folks still using the cards. Oh yeah and those two guys that believed their Windows buddies that ATI was so much better than the other guys. Apples and oranges guys.

    “Hey, S-VIDIO-out works now, and it works with TV cards now…. These ATI guys should be lauded for their good work…. Give ‘em some praise guys”. I’ve got better things to do thanks. Like play video games. When you pay 400 bucks for a top notch card you should get all the features, reguardless of who makes the card and what platform you run it on. It’s simple.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    To sum up everything, [u]NVIDIA[/u] Linux is shaping up quite nicely [i]*cut*[/i]. Will [u]NVIDIA[/u] remain in my system? Yes, [u]NVIDIA GFroce[/u] products have [u]always been on[/u] both my desktop and notebook [u]for years[/u]. These components will likely stay in there for some time unless the tides decide to turn. I am confident that in the coming months and the year ahead that [u]NVIDIA[/u] will [u]continue[/u] to shine in the GNU/Linux spotlight, and that their drivers will continue to improve even more.

    Now how is that open video card coming along?

  3. Anonymous Says:

    now to compare a bit ..

    can you switch nvidia’s driver while running the xserver to dual monitor setting incl tv out and back?

    despite being not that fast in 3d as the nvidia one, the ati driver has a good set of open gl extensions and its stability is fine for elder cards like mine (radeon mob 9600pro), the underclocking feature to save power is also really beautiful

    so while there is still more than enough work for ati’s driver (like opensourcing it .. making it quicker and more extensions to be compatible with nvidia, better and more stable support for up to date hardware) it is not as bad as it sounds in your post

    and for non gamers who only want a bit accelerated 2d + overlay stuff, both vendor’s cards work fine with xorg already out of box, sometimes even with some basic 3d acceleration

    what did they smoke when they decided to turn off video overlay in default settings? i don’t know, couldnt have been too good for them anyway, but its just a switch

    now to what i await from this merger – i don’t, i just wait and see and then mourn or scream hooray ;)

  4. Anonymous Says:


    show me the crossfire!!!!

  5. Anonymous Says:

    I mean…just look at the green rolling hills in Canuxico. OH wait, I can’t because my acceleration is suckitash.

    Beach! Yu my number1 heat-generator!

    The Alpha Troll

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Sadly, while there are some games for Linux, I think ATI is mainly concentrating on non-3D acceleration performance due to a serious lack of video games. But on the other hand, you’d think they’d try to get OpenGL working as well as in Windows for the professional apps like Maya, because that really is where nVidia on Linux just kills ATI. Of course also if you think back far enough, nVidia was the first graphics company to support OpenGL on their video cards (well at least when we’re talking consumer level cards at the time.)

  7. Anonymous Says:

    What a load of garbage. Monthly driver releases are *good* thing? I’d rather have a stable driver, thanks. NVIDIA doesn’t release drivers every month because they don’t need to. A nice graphical installer? Who cares? Unless you have to upgrade your drivers every month…

    Why on earth would you keep a card in your system that runs at 1/2 the framerate it’s capable of because of crappy drivers?

  8. Anonymous Says:

    to Moronix, coz frankly none of their reviews stack up or make any sense relative to what i see in the lab

    as for other posts you just pour salt in your own wounds with those words

    the x800xl is actually a 120 $ card ATM FYI

    it took hella lot longer than EIGHT MONTHS for the green team to produce “stable and feature complete” drivers, obviously you never used nvidia’s xf3.x drivers ph00

    ATI started from scratch not very long ago, you should be greatful they even care to bother considering your attitudes

    btw SLI doth sucketh oneth lineth bleheth

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